A 27-year-old man was recently arrested after reportedly being nabbed at 250 km/h in his new Ford Focus RS in Gauteng.
According to the Kempton Express, the driver of the all-wheel-drive hot hatch was on his way from Limpopo to Tembisa, and had two male passengers in the vehicle with him at the time.
The Focus RS driver was allegedly caught doing more than double the speed limit on the R21 near the Olifantsfontein on- and off-ramps.
“The lawbreaker never cited any reason for speeding excessively. He was detained at Olifantsfontein police station and charged with reckless and negligent driving,” said Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson, Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng.
When measured against the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3, the stock power output of the Ford Focus RS falls a little short, at 257 kW and 440 N.m. For owners who feel they need to keep up with the German hyper-hatches, the folks over at Mountune have come up with a possible solution.
The tuner’s M400 package boosts the Focus RS’s turbocharged 2,3-litre four-cylinder engine’s peak outputs to 294 kW and 560 N.m of torque. No performance claims have been provided with this increase in oomph, but the tuned Focus is sure to be faster to 100 km/h than the standard car (which takes a claimed 4,7 seconds).
The new peak outputs are achieved thanks to a high-flow induction kit, uprated turbo re-circulation valve, high-flow hard pipe, a three-inch downpipe, a V3 cat-back exhaust, an uprated intercooler and, of course, an ECU remap. Interestingly, this particular Mountune setup will not be sanctioned by Ford and its fitment will thus void the vehicle’s warranty.
In the UK, the kit costs £3 495 (which translates to about R60 000). Will it come to South Africa? Well, Ford Performance Centre (which recently released the MS-RT kit for the Ranger locally) has the Mountune brand listed on its site, along with a “coming soon” message. So, never say never…
Ford Focus RS long-term test review: a car that deserves respect
Is the Focus RS the king of hot hatches - or would you rather a Golf GTI or Civic Type R?
There’s something about an RS that cuts through brand loyalty.
There’s a lot to like about the Focus RS. It has very much delivered on the considerable pre-launch hype and it’s the kind of car that gets nods of approval from any true petrolhead, whatever their brand allegiances. You might be passionate about your Volkswagen Golf GTIs or a lifelong Honda Civic Type R fan but, when you see a Focus RS, there’s a mutual respect that transcends tribal aspects of the hot hatch world.
It can be as subtle as a slight nod of the head from another driver on the road or the full fanboy chit-chat at a filling station, but these kind of feel-good reminders follow you everywhere in the RS and make you feel properly involved with the legacy of the famous RS badge. Which is good, because there should be more to life with a true enthusiast’s car than the driving. You need to be invested emotionally, too.
That’s not to understate its abilities. Its Nitrous Blue paint shines brightly when clean but also looks good streaked with grime. Better still, this tells the world you’ve been enjoying your RS in the manner intended. It’s impressive in the dry, but on slithery roads the all-wheel-drive Focus comes alive and stamps its authority over front-driven rivals.
I drove the revised Seat Leon Cupra 300 recently on wet roads and even the clever torque-shuffling VAQ front axle couldn’t cope with 296bhp through two driven wheels. The Leon is fast and exciting but juddering axle tramp and lurid power understeer remind you that we may have reached the limit of what a front-driven hot hatch can deal with on a wet road. Meanwhile, the Focus’s pin-sharp front end, lack of understeer and easy throttle adjustability from its rear-biased all-wheel drive system remain standout dynamic characteristics.
Which explains the broad grin of anyone driving a Focus RS, especially one with a thick layer of grime.
FORD FOCUS RS
Price £31,000 Price as tested £35,135 Economy 26.3mpg Faults Speaker rattle from door card, front tyres losing air Expenses Tyres £683.88
Ford Focus RS Edition 2017 review (full 5/5 rating)
Should I buy one?
Whether you feel the benefit of the new differential very much depends on the conditions, your driving style and intended usage. If you are a confident driver and happy steering a car on the throttle, you’ll appreciate the increased composure and traction. Likewise, if you’re keen to use your RS on track days and wring every last horsepower out of it, the Option Pack car has better balance into the corner and more traction out of it. For those looking to upgrade their car with the officially sanctioned 370bhp Mountune kit, it’s probably a sound investment too.
Although less composed, the standard car is, however, possibly more entertaining and willing to show the hooligan side you’d expect of an RS-badged Ford. Because unless you’re absolutely on it, the diff will be pulling the car straight before the rear axle can come into play. Tellingly, Ford Performance engineering boss Jamal Hameedi says he’s happy sticking with his standard RS as his daily driver, appreciating the expanded reach of the diff-equipped version but accepting its benefits are really confined to the upper reaches of the performance envelope.
For those who want the most out of their fast Focus – and the kudos of having the extra tech - it’ll likely be a no-brainer, though. Like an RS but a bit more so, the RS Edition sharpens its edge just that little bit further.
Ford Focus RS Edition
Where Clermont-Ferrand, France; On sale Now; Price £36,000; Engine 2,261cc 4-cyl, turbocharged, petrol; Power 345bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 324lb ft at 2000rpm (347lb ft with overboost); Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerbweight 1599kg (75kg with driver); Top speed 165mph; 0-62mph 4.7sec; Fuel economy 36.7mpg; CO2 rating 175g/km; Rivals Mercedes-AMG A45, Volkswagen Golf R, Audi RS3 Sportback
Ford has launched a higher-specification version of its quickest hatchback called the Focus RS Edition.
On sale now priced from £35,795, £3530 more than the regular car, the RS Edition gains a Quaife limited-slip differential (LSD) to more effectively split torque across its front axle.
The new LSD is a proper mechanical part, which is the fastest-reacting form of diff available, and complements the car’s existing GKN-developed Twinster torque vectoring system at the rear.
Ford promises improved traction and increased agility with the new set-up. Autocar’s recent test in the RS Edition showed that this improvement did slightly hinder the car’s drifting ability, which is crowned by its Drift Mode that can send up to 70% of torque to the rear wheels.
No changes have been made to the RS Edition’s engine, so it retains the 2.3-litre Ecoboost four-pot of the regular car, producing 345bhp and 347lb ft and enabling the car to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 4.7sec.
Small aesthetic tweaks are made to the RS Edition’s exterior. It sits on matt black 19in alloy wheels, which are mounted ahead of Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers. Inside, the car gets Recaro sports seats, normally an option, as standard.
The Focus RS is also available with a Ford-certified Mountune FPM375 power upgrade, which increases its engine outputs to 370bhp and 376lb ft.
This is the Ford Performance Drift Stick, claimed to be the first rally-inspired electronic performance handbrake, developed for Ford’s hottest hatch, the Focus RS, and approved by Ken Block.
Note we said handbrake, not parking brake. The downside of the electronic parking brakes that are now common on new models in all segments is that they’re either on or off, which means you can’t use partial rear-wheel braking to kick the back out and initiate a drift.
The Drift Stick was developed by a group of Ford Performance engineers led by a petrolhead named John Wicks - hence the internal code-name Project Wicked Stick - who were originally responsible for the drift mode on the new all-wheel drive Focus RS.
Converting a car with an electronic parking brake to a conventional handbrake requires cutting and drilling on the bodyshell and tapping into the car’s hydraulics - which won’t do your wallet or the car’s warranty any good, and it’s irreversible; you can’t return the car to standard.
But the Focus RS has a conventional handbrake as standard, so Wicks and his crew came up with an electronic lever that gets mounted on the handbrake, sticking up right next to the steering wheel in proper rally style.
It plugs straight into the car's diagnostic port and operates via the all-wheel drive system and ABS module, opening the rear-drive clutches and locking up the the rear wheels to start the car drifting with a simple pull of the lever, just like a real rally car - and because it’s electronic you don’t even have to pull very hard; two to three kilograms of force will do it. Wicked.
And there’s an added benefit: During the project one of the engineer noticed that its electronics interacted with the car’s systems in much the same way as another aftermarket gizmo - the professional calibration tool. So they incorporated a USB port that allows the Drift Stick to provide both functions, pulling selected diagnostic data and uploading powertrain calibrations for the Focus RS.
Ford is at pains to point out that the Drift Stick is only for closed track use; while nobody can bust you for having a handbrake in your car, using it to make the car drift on public roads is very illegal. Nevertheless, it will be available in North America from December 2017; sadly, there are no plans at present to release it in South Africa.
How about first fixing the head gaskets blowing up before adding useless hand brakes.
should go like this:
Buy RS with drift brake
Goes to Gymkhana and drifts
Head gasket blows
take car to ford
Ford rejects claim because of abuse.
but ford you fitted the Drift brake. Yes sir but it for show, to charge you more for something we don't want you to use.